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Guest blog: Research reveals that professionals working at medical device manufacturers are motivated to contribute to increased sustainability

30.11.2022 klo 8.17
Healthcare industry has demonstrated interest in improving sustainability including reduction of its environmental footprint. On the other hand, healthcare struggles dealing with challenges relating to growing and aging population with limited resources. Medical devices are critical to healthcare and impact directly sustainability of healthcare industry.

But what is the status of sustainability at medical device manufacturers? Research conducted in cooperation with Healthtech Finland provides a unique insight into views of quality and regulatory assurance professionals at large, SME and micro-sized medical device manufacturers based in Finland.

Research conclusions highlight:

  • Medical device industry’s sustainability challenge: Medical device industry’s sustainability challenge is aligned with challenges of wider healthcare industry: reduction of environmental footprint and addressing the needs of wider patient populations. Current robust governance practices provide a firm basis to expand to support enhanced environmental and societal sustainability.
  • Clear differences in strategic importance: The research portraits a view of an industry where some medical device manufacturers have proactively taken initiative to include wider sustainability to their mission and strategy, and on the other hand, many are operating under the strict guidance of industry specific regulations, with primary focus around clinical value and safety.
  • Strategic importance reflected in operations: The companies that have sustainability in their mission and strategy are ahead of the rest of industry in integrating sustainability into their operations. They are also e.g., more confident in the level of in-house sustainability competence than their peers.
  • Clear differences in impact potential: Global medical device industry is polarized. With larger market share and resourcing, the large global companies have enhanced opportunities to contribute to wider scale positive global impact. They are also the ones impacted first by proposed EU level sector agnostic sustainability reporting requirements.
  • Sustainability deployment gap: Risen customer interest, combined with proposed sector agnostic EU sustainability reporting legislation has increased management interest in sustainability at the medical device industry. Except for some medical device manufacturer this has, however, not yet lead into  a wider scale integration of sustainability into the operations. This is also the situation in case of sustainability related risk management.
  • Strong motivation and confidence in transition towards more sustainable operations:  Professionals in the industry are among the medical device industry sustainability drivers. Representatives of medical device manufacturers send a strong message that they are confident that their companies will make a transition towards more sustainable operations within the next three years and that their colleagues are motivated to contribute to making the companies more sustainable.

The full research report on Status of sustainability at medical device manufacturers based in Finland is now available and includes views of representatives of medical device manufacturers on the following themes: United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, Strategic Importance and Management Commitment, Sustainability of Operations, Sustainability related Risk Management and Sustainability related Resources.

Many thanks for the Healthtech Finland members who participated the sustainability workshop and therewith with their contribution made this industry status overview possible. Now it is time for action!

28.11.2022

Guest blog by Minna Makki